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#15: Life On Land

How might artists show their concern for life on land through their artwork?


Find out: Watch this clip to learn more about the importance of life on our land.


While you are watching and listening you might like to think about these questions.

What do the words 'on land' mean?

Can you translate these words into another language?

How might artists express their ideas and feeling through their artworks?

Understanding Goal 15: Life On Land (Primary)



Jeannie Baker (Australia)

Collage techniques:


Andy Goldsworthy (British)













Georgia O’Keeffe (American)


Friedensreich Hundertwasser (Austrian/ New Zealand)

More Artists
& Resources

Margaret Preston (Australian)



Joseph Cornell (American)

Steve Cutts (British)






Art Idea:
Collage & Animation 

Make an animated version of one of Jeannie Baker’s books using an App.


Here is an example film-

Where the Forest Meets the Sea - a Digital Media Production of the Book by Jeannie Baker



Art Apps

Use your imagination to draw a design of a new endangered hybrid animal. Then use the incredible apps Switch Zoo or Creature Garden to make your new hybrid creature come to life. By adding written information you could hold an art exhibition which educates your community about endangered animals and explains ways in which people can take action to help.

Art Idea:
Sculpture Ideas


Andy Goldsworthy (British)

Land Art

Collect items from nature such as sticks, leaves, pine cones, or shells/ seaweed and create an artwork like Andy Goldsworthy. Remember to take a photo of your creation as your work will not be permanent.

Nature Sculptures

Looking closely at SDG # 15 Life on land is a wonderful way to explore the details of nature.

Start by looking at the unusual work of Terri Chaio & Adam Frezza who create unique imaginative plants.

Students can make their own inventive plant using newspaper and masking tape along with wire or paper mache or craft plaster bandage roll.

Follow this wonderful lesson from ART BAR

Art Bar



You can also make unusual parts of plants (containers) and then fill them with real Air Plants that do not require soil. Click on the link below for some ideas.


Facts about Air Plants here:

Art Idea:
Drawing/ Painting

Observational drawings are a great way to look closely at the natural world around us.

We often draw from real fruits and vegetables, flowers and plants around our school. I have also been known to 'borrow' goldfish from our school pond and transfer them into giant flower vases. This is a great idea because it means that students can observe and draw them more easily for a short amount of time, before returning the fish back to their pond.

Perhaps your school will allow you to have students bring in interesting pets for observational drawing!

I also love to work collaboratively with our science departments and to borrow their slides of plants, cells, blood and microscopes. Students love to look carefully at the microscopes and draw what they see.

We also love the work of British illustrator Katie Scott.


Artworks based on famous Artists

Students can also paint or draw a still life inspired by the greats like Van Gogh’s Sunflowers, Monet’s Waterlillies, Georgia O’Keffee’s flowers or Hundertwasser’s incredible colourful landscapes.

Art Idea:

Margaret Preston has always been one of favourite artists and as a child I spent hours wandering through the bush collecting all the treats nature had dropped on the ground for me. It is no wonder that I adore Preston's prints so much and love making them with my students. It is a great way to compare different plants from different countries too.


Student can choose to redesign any of the SDG's or create a nature inspired pattern or even design a print of a specific animal or their skin texture.

Printmaking is so fabulous because you can use Styrofoam, softer rubber blocks or lino and prints can be made into cards or artworks to sell! 


Students can focus on the plants where they live and create a lino block in the style of Margaret Preston.

Art Idea:
Mapping the land


Landscapes paintings and artworks connecting to mapping and even drones are a great way to introduce the SDG # 15 Life on Land.

Surreal Landscapes

Look at the surreal landscapes Dali created. Imagine what might happen to our planet if we don’t take action now, create a surrealist drawing or painting showing is what the land might look like?

Mapping Art

Many artists are inspired by different types of maps. Look at each of these artists and find a style you love.

Create your own map of your local area, your home country, your host country or somewhere you would love to travel.

Emily Garfield (American)

Sarah Drake (Australian)

Ed Fairburn (British)

Claire Brewster (British)

Patrice Dworkin (American)

-Choose PORTFOLIO/ treasure/ faultlines)

Art Idea:
Mixed Media Boxes

Inspired by the unusual collections made by artist Joseph Cornell, my students and I have made several different kinds of mixed media (shadow) boxes over the years, my favourite being those created after studying the natural world around us.


Read more facts about Joseph Cornell here and watch this clip to find out how he became an artist.


Taking Action

Here is a list of ideas from the Good Life Goals that can help you to take action on goal #15.



Taking Action

Where do I start?

More Ideas and Resources




National Geographic for Kids


San Diego Zoo

Taronga Zoo

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